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Iceland Hiking, Hotsprings and Horses Adventure Retreat

Reykjavik, Iceland
Cost: $5400
July 17-24th, 2023

This eight day, seven night Iceland retreat is packed with adventurous activities and stunning sights, from horseback riding and hiking to waterfalls, geothermal hot springs, and charming villages.  We will hike, ride Icelandic horses and kayak across the untamed countryside and experience a world like you have never seen before with breathtaking views around every corner. The Icelandic culture is warm and inviting, and we will have the chance to spend time getting to know the local community members and artisans. Along with Colleen Cannon and Jacqueline Stanford, you are joined by our very own amazing guide, Vilborg Halldorsdottir, who is an incredible storyteller, actress, horserider, singer, and musician. 

This beautiful country, which is known as the Land of Fire and Ice, is brimming with contrasts: glaciers meet volcanoes, rugged mountains meet cascading waterfalls, and light meets dark. The people from this isolated and secluded Northern Island radiate the warmest, most vibrant energy that screams live life fully. From the lively Reykjavik city center that runs on geothermal power to the rural fishing villages, the unique Icelandic culture blends old and new. And despite the country‘s name, Icelandic summers are surprisingly mild and green, with nonstop daylight thanks to a phenomenon known as the midnight sun. Join us on our Iceland retreat as we play all day and night, exploring Iceland’s dramatic landscapes!

For many people, the mention of Iceland evokes images of volcanoes with difficult names to pronounce or expansive glaciers or the hip Reykjavík music scene that spawned famous exports like Björk, Of Monsters and Men, Sigur Rós and, my favorite, KALEO. We listen to this music the whole trip so download it now:

What To Expect on this Iceland retreat:

Every morning we will awaken at our various guesthouses with breathtaking views. We will start the day with a gentle yoga followed by a healthy and hearty Icelandic breakfast. We will begin our journey by a day discovering the world famous Golden Circle.  Our home for the first 3 nights will be at the Hotel Vatnsholt – a working farm converted into a quaint little hotel that hosts their guest like family. Our adventures during these first 3 days will include The Golden Circle, hikes to a hot river, a visit to a wool shop, our philanthropic project supporting the wetlands and a kayak trip through the wetlands. We have an awesome dinner at a restaurant on the beach with the best lobster on the Island. Our third day hike will be two very special waterfall areas:  A drive west to the waterfall SKÓGARFOSS where we will trek up along the river Skógá that creates the waterfall. This trekking path is called FIMMVÖRÐUHÁLS.  Then we will go to our hike enjoying the beauty of up to 13 small waterfalls cascading down this mountain like pearls on a string. Lunch will be enjoyed outdoors somewhere along the hikes.

On the second half of our Iceland retreat we drive to our amazing guesthouse at Breiðabólsstaður farm.   

For our last afternoon we will head back to Reykjavik and also visit  Soley – the natural beauty collection developed and made by our friend Soley.  We will stay in the Hotel Borg that evening for our closing.  Before heading to the airport on our last day, we will visit the world renown Blue Lagoon.

For our last afternoon we will head back to Reykjavik and also visit  Soley – the natural beauty collection developed and made by our friend Soley.  We will stay in the Hotel Borg that evening for our closing.  Before heading to the airport on our last day, we will visit the world renown Blue Lagoon.


  • 7 nights of lodging:  3 nights at Hotel Vatnsholt and 4 nights at Breiðabólsstaður guesthouse and farm, Delicious food at every meal, minus two lunches and two dinners that are on your own, allowing you to experience the wide variety of food in Iceland
  • Incredible lobster dinner at a quaint little restaurant on the beach – Fjorubordid Stokkseyri
  • 4 days of guided horseback trips for beginner to intermediate riders, described as the “BEST HORSE RIDING OF YOUR LIFE” or you can do less riding and more hiking.
  • A 3 hour kayak adventure exploring the small winding tributaries in the wetlands of Southern Iceland 
  • Private showing of Kirsuberjatréð Vesturgötu, an all women’s art studio in Reykjavik:
  • Beautiful hikes across the beautiful landscapes, past rivers and hot springs, and waterfalls. 
  • Locally guided tour of the Golden Circle, Great Geysir, Gullfoss waterfall and Thingvellir National Park, plus lunch at Friðheimar tomato farm and a horse-riding demonstration
  • Entry into the oldest swimming pool in Iceland: the Secret Lagoon-Gamla Laugin
  • Hike the beautiful Reykjadalur valley and soak in the thermal hot spring river near Hvergherdi
  • Option for adventure minded people, INTO THE GLACIER hike near Husafell
  • Hike to Svartifoss waterfall known for its glistening basalt columns.
  • Skogafoss Waterfall and part of ther FIMMVÖRÐUHÁLS hike – one of Iceland’s most iconic hikes passing up to 26 waterfalls
  • Hike the highest waterfall in Iceland – Glymur – with it’s challenging water crossings and spectacular views
  • Colleen’s favorite day: *Afternoon with Bjork Ingadottir “Into the Fairy Realms of Iceland” Go to GLANNI waterfall, said to be the biggest Vortex to the hidden fairy world
  • Tour of REYKHOLT –  a visit to the museum Borgarfjörður which is rich in cultural and history of the sagas, music, geology and the life story of SNORRI STURLUSON that lived in the valley near our far
  •  Evening of sound meditation
  • “Awakening the Senses Yoga” for centered riding at the horse farm
  • Amazing culturally and locally sourced meals and cooking class with Beta our culinary expert for the week at Breiðabólsstaður farm with local Icelandic ingredients and medicinal herbs..
  • Soak and swim in the local hot pools after exhilarating days of activities
  • Yoga and Qigong every morning
  • Transportation during the Iceland retreat
  • Lifelong friendships and unforgettable experiences
  • Professional instruction and guidance
  • 2 lunches, 2 dinners are not included in the price
  • Blue Lagoon is not included in the price (around $90)

Golden Circle – We will explore Iceland’s Golden Circle of national parks as our guide, Vilborg, will teach us all about the rich history.

Thingvellir National Park sits atop the Mid Atlantic Ridge in a rift valley caused by the separation of two tectonic plates. The rocky cliffs, canyons, and fissures create an incredibly dramatic and unique landscape. We will get the chance to see where the Althing, the national parliament of Iceland, was founded at Thingvellir in the year 930 and held there till 1798 and is the oldest surviving parliament in the world.

We will start the day off with a beautiful hike in the National Park and then visit the Golden Circle highlights in the afternoon.

Gullfoss Waterfall – one of the most famous waterfalls in Iceland. The dramatic waterfall is created from the Hvítá river cascading before plunging into a deep crevasse. This is a waterfall that will stay with you forever.

Geysir – The Great Geysir is a hot spring geyser that shoots high into the Icelandic sky. Estimates suggest the geysir has been active for 10,000 years and the height of its eruptions are tied to the many earthquakes in the area that are constantly impacting the pressure of the geyser.

Thingvellir National Park – This national park is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and deservedly so. The park is formed from the ancient and ongoing collision of the North American and Eurasian plates. This ongoing tectonic movement has created the amazing geologic beauty of the region!

Lunch at Friðheimar tomato farm – Fridheimar ( meaning a world of peace) is a working farm that produces tomatoes year round in its enormous greenhouses. They use specific lighting to keep production rolling through the long and dark Icelandic winters. And boy, do they produce tomatoes! Friðheimar produces around a ton of tomatoes everyday along with providing us a great lunch — best tomato soup I have ever had. We will also see an amazing Icelandic Horse Demonstration

Secret Lagoon: Gamla Laugin or Secret Lagoon thermal pool is located in the small village of Flúðir in the Golden Circle area.  The pool’s natural surroundings and rising steam gives the place a magical feeling. Nearby, there is even a little geysir which erupts every five minutes, ?? putting on a show for you as you relax in the hot spring. Changing rooms with showers are available on site.

Included in the Price:

  • Lodging for seven nights
  • Delicious food at every meal, minus two lunches and two dinners that are on your own, allowing you to experience the wide variety of food in Iceland
  • Professional guides each day
  • 4 days of guided horseback ride OR guided hikes
  • Locally guided tour of the Golden Circle, Geysir, Gullfoss Waterfall, and Thingvellir National Park, plus lunch at Friðheimar tomato farm 
  • Entry into the Secret Lagoon-Gamla Laugin, the oldest swimming pool in Iceland
  • Kayaking in the wetlands

Not included in the price:

  • Transportation to Reykjavik to and from the airport
  • Airfare
  • Bus ride and Blue Lagoon entry
  • 2 lunches, 2 dinners
  • swimming and hot spring pool fees $10, Krauma Hot Springs and Spa, $35 to $45, 
  • tips for driver, and guides are not included in the cost.

What are the accommodations?

3 nights at Hotel Vatnsholt, a little gem hotel that is surrounded by the magnificent Icelandic nature which guests can easily explore. The owners have converted this working farm into a beautiful guesthouse and have the reputation for being nature and animal lovers. 

4 nights at Breiðabólsstaður guesthouse and farm   – This farm/guesthouse that focuses on Icelandic hospitality and breeding Icelandic horses has been operating for four generations  Breiðabólsstaður guesthouse and farm  is located in the very heart of 

This quaint hotel is surrounded by stunning nature in the tranquility of the countryside. Just under the wide expanses of the Icelandic highlands and in the vicinity of glaciers and volcanoes, overlooking the North Atlantic Ocean. We have wonderful accommodations during our Iceland retreat.

What will the food be like?

The food is the BEST PART of the Iceland retreat! Amazing culturally and locally sourced meals at all of our hotels. They will be offering the freshest ingredients available at this time- serving local and traditional food that takes your taste buds on an adventure they will never forget.

What is a typical day on the Iceland retreat?

Each day will be magical but not very typical. The first day is jam packed with adventures… the GOLDEN CIRCLE DAY -Guided by professional guide and actress Vilborg Halldorsdottir who brings music, singing and the Iceland culture to LIFE!

When does the Iceland retreat begin and end?

Please arrange to arrive at least one day before the retreat starts. The retreat will formally begin on July 17th at 9:00am.  Please come in July 16th or before and we can meet up for an informal afternoon and dinner.  We may take a leisurely walk and visit the incredible Sky Lagoon if you arrive early.  We are suggesting you might stay at the Hotel Borg (we will give you a promo code for a discount).   Most hotels will let you drop your luggage before check-in time

The Iceland retreat will end on July 24th after breakfast. There is an option to go to the Blue Lagoon that day – the cost is around $90 (we must know in advance as reservations are a must as The Blue Lagoon has very strict covid policies) We will provide transportation to the airport July 24th arriving around 1 pm.

What is Iceland like?

Unlike its name, Iceland in the summer is green and full of life! There are waterfalls and breathtaking views around every corner. The food is rich with history, and the locals are friendly. We will see a great deal of the country on our retreat while horseback riding, hiking, and soaking in the healing hot springs. There will be no shortage of stunning views, local food, and compelling culture, we promise!

What will the weather be like?

June/July are the main summer months in Iceland with an average temperature of (51°F), though it is usually warmer than that and sometimes hits 20°C (68°F) or higher.  

Don’t be surprised if you see most Icelanders only wearing shorts and t-shirts in July, sunbathing on their front porch or in the local swimming pools.

The sun is up for close to 20 hours during June, so it’s basically daylight all day and all night! (Make sure to bring a sleeping mask if you want to get some sleep). Remember that it can rain anytime in Iceland and the summer nights can be cold.

The lush vegetation is in full bloom during June and the diverse wildlife, especially bird-life, is rampant. It is a great month to go birding or whale watching.

Do I have to do all of the activities?

No! All activities and outings on our Iceland retreat are optional. This is YOUR retreat. We encourage you to do what feels most nurturing and right for you. You will be fully supported in doing as much or as little as you choose. All of our activities will be guided by expert staff, and instruction and support will be offered for every activity according to your experience level.

What will the hikes be like?

Iceland is known for hiking and the trails are maintained very well, with the inclusion of ropes and rails to help on steeper sections. We will be hiking to amazing spots including the Glymur Waterfall (a steeper but safe and impressive hike). Hiking shoes or shoes with “4 wheel drive” are a must since the trails can be rocky and muddy.

What is the average age on this Iceland retreat?

We have a wide range of women who attend our retreats, from 15-75 + years young. Each retreat will vary but Iceland is for EVERYONE.

What if I am coming alone?

The majority of the women who attend our Iceland retreat come by themselves. Iceland is a safe and easy country to travel in as a single woman. English is widely spoken, and we are here to answer any questions about travel that you may have. Although you may come alone, you will leave the retreat with new, lifelong friends!

How do I change money in Iceland?

The Icelandic króna is the local money in Iceland. You can travel with US Dollars and exchange them at the banks either in the airport, Reykjavik, or any other major city. ATM’s may be the best option as they may give you a better exchange rate and allow you to travel with less cash in hand. Make sure to let your card company know where and when you will be traveling so they do not put any holds on your account for unusual transactions.

What about communications?

You can find Wifi everywhere in Iceland. The best way to communicate with home is through an online communication program (we recommend Skype or WhatsApp). You can also buy minutes with Skype and make calls to US phones through Wifi. Please check with your cell phone provider if you choose to use your phone. They will most likely charge foreign use fees (either a flat rate or by use).

Payment Policy

A deposit is required to hold your reservation at a retreat. Deposits are $500 for domestic and $1,000 for international retreats. Additional deposits may be required to reserve a single room. All deposits are non-refundable.

We cannot hold your reservation until we have received your deposit. If you would like to reserve an available spot in a retreat 90 or fewer days prior to the retreat date, we require payment in full for the retreat to hold the spot. This is in accordance with our payment policy below.

Payment in full for all retreats is due 90 days prior to the retreat date. If you do not provide payment in full by 90 days prior to the retreat you risk losing your reservation.

A 4% payment processing fee will be added to all payments made using PayPal, Stripe or Venmo. 

You are welcome to send in a check or pay by Zelle to avoid this fee.

Cancellation Policy

If you must cancel a reservation, a full refund, less your deposit which is non-refundable, will be provided for any cancellation we receive in writing at least 91 days prior to the commencement date of the retreat. We are sorry but we cannot refund any payments for cancellations made 90 or fewer days prior to the commencement of the retreat.

We reserve the right to cancel retreats with inadequate participant interest. Women’s Quest IS NOT responsible for any personal expenses, such as airline tickets due to changes in schedules or tour cancellations.

Covid-19 Policy

Cancellations by Women’s Quest: Women’s Quest reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to cancel or reschedule any retreat due to concerns over Covid-19. As a small company Women’s Quest is unfortunately not able to provide refunds of payments for retreats cancelled by Women’s Quest due to the Covid pandemic. This is primarily due to our financial commitments with the various retreat venues. As a result, in the event Women’s Quest cancels or reschedules a retreat due to Covid-19 Women’s Quest will apply all payments to the rescheduled or following year’s retreat, or to any other Women’s Quest retreat of your choosing through the end of the next year after the year in which the retreat was cancelled by Women’s Quest.  Because of the unforeseen and unprecedented circumstances of the outbreak, this policy supersedes earlier policies.

Cancellations by You: If you need or desire to cancel your reservation due to Covid-19, or failure to comply with the requirements of a negative test and being symptom free, this cancellation is subject to the Cancellation Policy above.  This is why we urge everyone to purchase travel insurance when signing up. 

Covid Waiver and Release
This waiver, release and acknowledgement of responsibilities is unfortunately necessary during this unique time of the Covid 19 pandemic. By signing up for and or attending any Women’s Quest retreat you agree to be bound by the terms of this document. We understand these times are challenging, however, these provisions are necessary to protect all attendees and staff members of Women’s Quest.

Testing For and Symptoms of Covid 19.  Irrespective of vaccination status you are required to provide a negative test for Covid 19 taken within 3 days of the commencement of the retreat. This test can be either a PCR test or a home antigen test. Also, irrespective of your vaccination status, you agree you will not attend the retreat if you have any symptoms of Covid 19 immediately prior to the beginning of the trip. These symptoms include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea (these, along with symptoms outline in the following link and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control shall be collectively referred to as the “Symptoms”.) More information on symptoms of Covid 19 can be found here:

Symptoms During the Retreat. In the event you develop any Symptoms during the retreat you must immediately leave the retreat and follow protocols outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and all local regulations. We understand this may result in you incurring significant expenses associated with separate accommodation and travel, however, you understand these expenses are not the responsibility of Women’s Quest and must be incurred by you. You agree to be fully honest with Women’s Quest staff in regard to any Symptoms you may develop and agree to comply with a request by Women’s Quest staff to depart as determined by Women’s Quest staff in their sole discretion. As provided below, this is why we strongly urge everyone to get travel insurance covering these and other expenses prior to departure.

Procedures During the Retreat. During the retreat Women’s Quest may, but need not, endeavor to practice social distancing and wearing of masks when traveling in close proximity. You agree to comply with all requests of Women’s Quest staff during the retreat related to these procedures. Any such procedures implemented by Women’s Quest are not a guaranty you will not be exposed to Covid 19 and you understand you are responsible for taking any precautions you deem necessary and providing your own personal protective equipment during the retreat. You also agree to comply with any reasonable requests by other attendees to respect their social distancing and other protective measures (“Participant Requests”.) Notwithstanding the foregoing, you are responsible to comply with all laws and regulations of the locality visited relating to protections against Covid 19.

Waiver of Coronavirus Related Illness; Indemnification. You understand that irrespective of protective measures that Women’s Quest or you may or may not take, you may be exposed to Covid 19 by another retreat attendee, a Women’s Quest staff member and or an individual to whom you may be exposed during, or traveling to or from the retreat. You agree to waive and release Women’s Quest, its officers, directors, staff, employees, contractors, and partners from any claims, liabilities or damages you may incur in the event you contract Covid 19 at any time during travel to, attending or after attending the retreat. You further agree to indemnify and hold harmless Women’s Quest, its officers, directors, staff, employees, contractors, and partners from any loss, liability or damages it or they may incur as a result of your failure to receive a negative test for Covid 19 prior to the retreat as provided above, attending the retreat with any Symptoms, not respecting Participant Requests, and not immediately departing the retreat if you develop any Symptoms.

Cancellation. In the unfortunate event you need to cancel your trip, cannot attend due to contracting Covid 19 or developing Symptoms prior to the retreat, or must leave the retreat due to contracting Covid 19 or developing Symptoms, Women’s Quest cannot provide any refund of any amounts you paid.

Travel Insurance. As provided in this document you could incur significant personal expense in the event you contract Covid 19 or develop any Symptoms during the retreat. As such, you are strongly urged to obtain travel insurance that provides adequate protections against these risks.

Additional Waiver. This waiver is incorporated into and made a part of other waivers you agreed to in connection with signing up for the retreat. In the event of a conflict between these terms and the terms of any other waiver, this waiver shall govern.

Purchasing Travel Insurance

We highly, highly recommend you get travel insurance to cover your expenses and losses, in the event you cannot make the Women’s Quest retreat for any reason or if  you test positive or come down with Symptoms prior to the retreat, develop Symptoms during the retreat, or cannot return home due to Covid related issues.  We recommend getting insurance that covers the cost of your trip, medical care while at the retreat, and coverage to pay for the necessary quarantine period if you test positive or come down with Covid.  Please remember, if you have to cancel your trip in the unfortunate event you come down with Covid, test positive, or suffer Symptoms prior to or during the retreat and need to leave, Women’s Quest cannot provide a refund since we have to pay your trip expenses well ahead of time.

If you are concerned about travel and the changing environment in which we are living irrespective of your Covid status, we recommend getting travel insurance that allows you to cancel for any reason. This coverage is more expensive, however, may provide you with the coverage and flexibility you desire.

Irrespective of the travel insurance you get, please make sure you talk to a travel insurance agent prior to buying any insurance and make sure you have the coverage you desire and that the policy will cover trip cancellation, medical expenses and trip interruption due to Covid. 

You can do your own investigation by checking out Squaremouth, a travel insurance comparison company that helps travelers search, compare and buy travel insurance online

Are you ready to join Women’s Quest on our Iceland retreat? Sign up today!